It’s that time of the year, when parents must decide what gifts to give their child’s teacher.

As my child gets older I find myself less and less inclined to get her teacher a present. She’s a well-behaved kid, she gets to school early to help them in the classroom, she turns her work in on time and I’ve never actually spoken to any of her teachers. I consider this a gift.

When she was younger I often gave her pre-school teachers and babysitters cards and maybe a gift certificate. These were people I knew. Now, however, she’s in middle school and has several teachers I don’t even know it seems strange to get them anything.

I decided to ask some teacher friends to see what they had to say about being on the receiving end of these gifts. Did they even want these gifts? The results were mixed. (Also, everyone I know who was a teacher no longer is. This is probably a blog for another time.)

One friend, a junior high teacher, said she did appreciate getting gifts, especially homemade cards and Starbucks gift certificates.

Another, a high school teacher, said he found it awkward to get gifts when he couldn’t reciprocate. (Also awkward was receiving items he really did not want.)

“I’d recommend against parents making any effort to provide teacher gifts,” he said. “It’s not expected, and it’s sorta creepy, even if it’s not a big deal. If parents just can’t help themselves, they should go with something edible and inexpensive.”

So I found no clear answer for parents. Maybe more teachers can weigh in below in the comments.

Posted by Francisca Ortega at December 13, 2010 11:41 AM